The owners of Club Peek-a-Boo are accused of failing to protect a man shot to death inside the St. Clair County nightclub.

Tamareka Cook, special administrator of the estate of Shontez T. Ellis, filed a lawsuit against Andrea Garrett and Madison Garrett doing business as Club Peek-a-Boo. The complaint was filed Jan. 20 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Cook is the court-appointed special administrator of the estate of Shontez T. Ellis who died Jan. 19, 2011, according to the complaint. Ellis was allegedly shot and killed while at Club Peek-a-Boo on South Third Street in Brooklyn.

Cook says the Garretts owned and managed the nightclub and, therefore, had a duty to provide safe and secure premises and to "reasonably guard against wrongful and criminal acts against patrons when such acts were reasonably foreseeable to the defendants."

The court-appointed administrator says Ellis was shot multiple times by an unknown assailant while visiting Club Peek-a-Boo. She accuses the Garretts of negligently and carelessly failing to protect Ellis from the attack. Cook says the nightclub owners should have known Ellis was in danger because of previous criminal acts allegedly committed at Club Peek-a-Boo, including prior shootings.

Cook claims the Garretts were also negligent for failing to eject and remove the shooter before the incident with Ellis. She says, as a direct result of the club owners' failure to act, Ellis' family has suffered grief and sorrow and has been deprived of companionship.

Cook is asking to be awarded more than $50,000 on behalf of Ellis' estate.

Attorney Staci M. Yandle of O'Fallon is representing her. They request a jury trial.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-39

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